The Future Of ITSM Drops The “IT” And Replaces It With Automation

The Future Of ITSM Drops The “IT” And Replaces It With Automation

Summary: Forrester's Eveline Oehrlich explains why it's time to forget ITSM and focus on its evolution – “Service Management and Automation”.

TOPICS: IT Priorities

Here’s the hard truth:IT infrastructure and operations (I&O) teams are becoming less relevant. This will only accelerate now that we are in what Forrester calls “the age of the customer” where bring-your-own-technology policies and “as-a-service” software and infrastructure proliferate.

In this new world, developers still need compute and storage to keep up with growth. And workers need some sort of PC or mobile device to get their jobs done. But they don’t necessarily need you in corporate IT to give it to them. Case and point: employees pay for 70% of the tablets used for work.

At the end of the day, if you can’t deliver on what your workforce and developers care about, they will use whatever and whoever to get their jobs done better, faster and cheaper.

Much of this comes down to customer experience, or how your customers perceive their every interaction with the IT organization, from your staff in the helpdesk to corporate applications they access every day. Here’s a proof point on how much customer experience matters from Forrester’s soon to be published book, Outside In: over a recent five-year period during which the S&P 500 was flat, a stock portfolio of customer experience leaders grew 22% percent.

ITSM has the potential to deliver the experiences and outcomes our developers and workforce need and want. But today’s ITSM falls short because it is more inside-out than outside-in. A few examples. We still measure success based on internal IT efficiencies, not customer value, financial value or satisfaction. We still associate ITSM exclusively with ITIL best practices. And we continue to perpetuate ourselves as just providers of technology components, not brokers of end-to-end technology services.

To evolve, we need a new approach. For starters, forget ITSM and focus on its evolution – that Forrester calls, “Service Management and Automation” – that is more customer-centric, service-focused, and automated operations. Dropping the “IT” from ITSM reinforces that the customers and services comes first. Adding automation allows you to be faster, cheaper, and at a higher quality.

But this is much more than a rebranding exercise. You need to understand and internalize the trends, develop the business case, and assess how prepared you actually are. Based on this insight, you then need to carefully plan your people, process and technology. From there you have implement, from hiring new skills to selecting the right vendor, and developing a governance model to enforce the right behaviors. And to continually improve, you need to focus on metrics, peer comparison, and change management.

Forrester’s new “Playbook” approach is designed to do exactly this: A consistent and comprehensive approach to help you succeed at your most important initiatives. Like all of our other Playbooks, the Forrester’s Service Management and Automation Playbook is a practical guide that focuses our research and recommendations to help you discover, plan, act and optimize:

The Service Management and Automation Playbook is living, so be sure to check in regularly as we will update these core reports with new data and examples. Beneath these core reports, expect a wealth of “toolkit” research, such as Forrester Waves, TechRadars and Total Economic Impact reports, as well as Excel based models, PowerPoint templates and checklists.

To get started, I suggest reading the executive overview that sets the stage for and the entire Playbook. It introduces the shortcomings of today’s ITSM and why it’s evolution, service management and automation, is a better approach. From there, read “Become Customer-Centric, Service-Focused, And Automated” that identifies key trends across your people, process and technology you need to plan for.  

For a more hands-on approach, Forrester Consulting offers full-day workshops and consulting projects aligned to each phase of your service management and automation strategy.

So what do you think? How does Forrester’s vision of ITSM compare to yours? And will our Playbook be useful? This is only the beginning. Me and the rest of the Service Management and Automation team here at Forrester –@GlennODonnellJean-Pierre Garbani@StephenMannJohn Rakowski and @DougWashburn – want to know if this resonates with you.

Topic: IT Priorities

Phil LeClare

About Phil LeClare

Forrester Research analysts provides best practices and analysis of burning issues and trends impacting Information & Knowledge Management and Infrastructure & Operations professionals.

J.P. Gownder, James Staten, Dave Bartoletti, TJ Keitt and others contribute to this blog.

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  • Should we manage at a Service-Level or a Business-Level?

    Why not identify only those configuration items that support a particular business service and manage the IT infrastructure not at the disparate low-level component level, but at a business level? Aggregate and correlate all the information coming from the existing monitoring tools to provide a Business Level view in one easy to view dashboard that depicts how a particular business service is running. Finding only those CI's relevant to a business service would take minutes or hours as opposed to the months or weeks that are typically involved with such a feat. Thus, the discovery and rediscovery could be done in real time and population of a CMDB could be performed in the context of complete and accurate service models as opposed to random assets for mere management configuration. Hello root cause, there you are. Goodbye aggravation. -
  • who are this guys i lke them

    thie time save is a whole lot of money on it's own.
  • "Automation" -- Isn't That What Computers Do, By Definition?

    Aren't the tasks your computers are doing already "automated"? If you have to add another layer of "automation" on top of them, doesn't that suggest that your existing systems are poorly designed, and are making work for your users, instead of saving them work?
    • Automation Service Management

      Users are getting smarter. They are more IT savvy and expect more from their IT Service Support. Most users (especially younger, less important ones) Google a computer problem before they go through the hassle of getting in touch with their Support desk and the 7 rounds of frustration before getting it fixed.
      I have analysed many larger IT organisations support procedures, and some of them are quite shockingly bad, especially when support is outsourced to a 3rd party.
      Automation has the power to put quick resolutions, back in the hands of the savvy users (and in the hands of the Servicedesk for the not so savvy users)
      Why aren't IT departments automating more?
      Because its non trivial, and the different silo's involved in making automation work, aren't the ones who directly benefit.
      Example: New Employee process.
      Who benefits? Ultimately the whole organization, especially stressed line managers
      Who pays to set it up (the AD integration, the PC Provisioning, The Employee/payroll setup? etc) - IT does.
      Does IT save enough budget for the hassle of setting it up? Probably not, especially as its saving TIME IN OTHER DEPARTMENTS and not actual hard cash
      Result? IT does nothing and keeps doing things the same way, unless someone quite senior gets an initiative off the ground to do it
      Overall result? The business is less efficient, but no-one cares enough to change things